Its not exactly fair. I think a fair comparison would be the pulsar vs
Bowers 805 Diamond
I hear great things about the caspian.
Have you looked at Unison research amplification yet? My dealer stocked both roksan and Unison, and pointed me to the entry level Unison Unico for the LS50's despite being able to earn bigger commission for the Roksan. He said that the LS50 benefit hugely from Class A amplification and Unison provided enough wattage in Class A to make them sing.
I eventually went for the ayre which cost a fair bit more; but just remembered our discussion on the topic.
Well well, joined the KEF LS50 club this weekend! What turned out to be just curiosity ended up in a discussion whether to buy just one or two stereo pairs!
They are replacing B&W CM9 floorstander and CM1 bookshelf speakers in my home theatre setup which have been orphaned and looking for new homes. Have to say the KEF LS50 is a remarkable little speaker. I was initially planning on running them just off my AVR, but I'm a bit surprised by their inefficiency. So far they sound great with the Myryad MXA power amplifier.
The one pair of LS50s were a demo so they already had a bit of play time on them and they are sounding pretty consistent. The 2nd pair is brand new and I noticed that they need a bit of burn in.
In my haste to get home I forgot to buy proper stands for them. As all the Hi-Fi shops were closed yesterday I got a little bit creative (or cheap...). Bought these two cement pillars, which happened to be the ideal height, for $10 each at a 2nd hand shop and 3 cans of spray paint. They are rather heavy so it seems to work pretty well, though its not particularly easy on the eye.
Yes, its a home theater based system, but the Yamaha AVR works nicely as a preamp and processor. I'm using a Velodyne SPL-1200 Ultra subwoofer and it integrates very nicely with the LS50s though I think they could with an even faster sub. I think in the US its called the Optimum 12.
I've since sold the B&W CMC2 centre and ordered a KEF R200c centre. Frankly the LS50s work very well without a centre speaker due to its excellent imaging and sound staging, you'd never even know the centre speaker is missing.
I was hoping to check out the Focal speakers, but they weren't available for demo anywhere locally. It's one of the reasons I picked the LS50s as they weren't colouring the sound like most Hi-Fi speakers tend to do. If you need a bit of warmth consider going with a warmer sounding upstream equipment (like a valve/SS hybrid). I always thought my Hiifman HE-500 headphones sounded way better than my B&W CM9 speakers (which were slow and laidback sounding), but now with the LS50s I feel they've surpassed my headphone setup again. I've actually neglected my headphone hobby a bit after getting these. The Harbeths and Spendor speakers should have the speed and detail retrieval to keep up with the LS50s, but here they cost at least twice as much as the LS50s.